Drugs and medication for children with cancer
The postulate report on covering the costs of drugs and medication for children with cancer has been published today. The report can find no discriminatory handling in this area, which has caused the Federal Council to conclude there is no need for action. The umbrella organisation sees this as a very controversial statement and, in its reaction to the Federal Council’s decision, a reaction supported by the nine Swiss hospitals specialising in treating children with cancer, has detailed the challenges when it comes to the covering of costs as well as listing corresponding suggestions for improvement.
It is a little known fact that most of the drugs used to treat children with cancer are actually only approved for adults. The low number of cases among children does not make it attractive for the pharmaceutical industry to develop specific drugs for this group of patients. Paediatric oncologists claim that when it comes to covering the cost of these essential therapies, families face uncertainties, delays and a lot of bureaucracy.
Childhood Cancer Switzerland very much regrets that the Federal Council sees no need for action as a result of the commissioned report. The demands of the umbrella organisation, which represents the interests of the most important childhood cancer organisations in Switzerland, include the automatic cost coverage of all standard treatments in paediatric oncology as well as a binding and independent expert panel for complex cases. This is the only way there can be a guarantee that every child will be given fair and equal access to the best possible therapy in future.